A Guy Just Lost My Business. Are My Reasons Petty or Justified? : Under30CEO A Guy Just Lost My Business. Are My Reasons Petty or Justified? : Under30CEO
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A Guy Just Lost My Business. Are My Reasons Petty or Justified?

| June 27, 2014 | 16 Comments

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A guy just lost my business. Some of you may find my reason petty, but others will completely agree.

So here’s the deal once a month I spend $80 with this guy. And I’m talking for the last 9 years. So $960 a year and my lifetime customer value to him is $8,640 for 9 years and $28,800 if I continued to be his costumer for the next 30 years.

Now this guy knows I’m great at marketing, he always commends me on my ability to get the word out about my projects.

He constantly want to “pick my brain” about marketing when I’m a customer at his establishment.

Here’s where he lost me as a customer. Last month when my book, Launch and Stand Out, was released I was more than excited to share it with him. I told him where he could purchase the book, which would help him with marketing his business.

He made it clear on two occasions he wouldn’t be purchasing my book, which is fine with me, no sweat of my back.

But then I realized his small town thinking is the reason he can’t understand that him giving up $20 would have him gain $20,000+.

He didn’t realize that, like him I can spend my money anywhere.

He realized that every time I share marketing advice with him I was supporting and helping his business grow, he even implemented some of my strategies when he launched his own store. But he wasn’t willing to “lose” $20 to gain all the content I shared with him in one place.

I have no problem sharing ideas and helping people especially when my primary source of income was Stinky Cakes.

Now that I generate the majority of my income as a business and marketing consultant, author and a public speaker I value the information I posses in a different manner.

Two things to learn from this:

1. As a business owner always look for ways to support your customers. Especially if they are fellow business owners. If you don’t it will cost you in the long run.

2. It’s ok to share your skills with others. But make sure you don’t give the cow away. Get paid for your skills.

Am I wrong for ditching this dud?

P.S. I shared this post on my personal facebook page and the comments and feedback I got was amazing. Feel free to “eavesdrop” and even chime in!  Post by Mychal Connolly.

Mychal Connolly aka Mr. Stinky Cakes went from being an immigrant dishwasher, to being selected one of America’s Top 100 Urban Entrepreneurs, as well on one of Massachusetts’ Top 40 under 40, for his work as the co-founder of the online baby-gift company Stinky Cakes™.  He is the author of the Entrepreneurial, Marketing & Branding Guide: Launch & Standout, in which he teaches entrepreneurs how to start businesses and create brands that customers know, like, trust, remember and buy into to.

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Category: Entrepreneurship

  • Rafferty Pendery

    I don’t think it’s petty at all. I have made it a point to support my clients, even when their products weren’t something so directly needed (such as the example you gave). It goes a long way to support other people outside of the “normal” just deliver good service.

  • James D

    It seems to me you are reacting emotionally to a business transaction (even if the reaction is “justified”). I can’t speak to your true intentions but you come across in this article as punishing him or taking it upon yourself to teach him a lesson.

    Standing up for yourself doesn’t necessitate breaking the business relationship. You could have simply referred him to your book every time he asked you for a tip.

    Now if your article was little more focused on your experience as a customer was impacted – I’d say right on. If his small town thinking is not impacting your customer experience negatively – you are being petty for ditching him based on that.

    My opinion. Either way, nice thought provoking article.

  • Guest

    Customer loyalty is paramount to a businesses success. My dad ran an AT&T store for around 10 years and we got so many customers who had terrible experiences at corporate stores and we would make them feel welcome and be as accommodating as possible. Long-term customers would get free cases/car chargers and other accessories. Our costs were low and the customers felt appreciated as customers. If he immediately asked you if you made any more of the money through any one retailer or if he could directly buy the book from you then I am sure not only would you continue patronizing his business but you would also be more willing to to refer other customers and potentially even go more often.

  • Andrew

    Customer loyalty is paramount to a business’ success. My dad ran an AT&T store for around 10 years and we got so many customers who had terrible experiences at corporate stores and we would make them feel welcome and be as accommodating as possible. Long-term customers would get free cases/car chargers and other accessories. Our costs were low and the customers felt appreciated as customers. If he immediately asked you if you made any more of the money through any one retailer or if he could directly buy the book from you then I am sure not only would you continue patronizing his business but you would also be more willing to refer other customers and potentially even go more often.

  • http://hooktowin.com/ Andrew McDermott

    He showed you that he wanted your help as long as it was free. He made money for your advice. But he wasn’t interested in paying for that advice.

    That doesn’t seem like a mutually beneficial relationship. Based on what you’ve said, it seems like you’re giving and he’s more than happy to take.

    There isn’t any reciprocation going on. If that’s the case, how can the relationship grow?

    Mychal, I think you made the right decision.

  • Matt O’Brien

    I’d say that I’m torn on the position you’ve taken. I certainly think the value of your time is quantifiable. Answering any of his questions to better support his business is being cordial to a certain extent. You’d think he’d buy the book out of respect for the effort and time you’ve given to him. The reason I’m torn is that I don’t know the services he provides to you. I don’t think I’d sever the relationship but I also wouldn’t continue with free advice if he wants to take his business to the next level. As you mentioned, you’re income comes from consultation.

  • Mychal Connolly

    I understand where you are coming from James. But my intentions were never to business the business owner. I am a huge advocate of small businesses and however I can help them succeed I am down for the cause. The for me was about the fact that he wants my services for FREE and wants me to get his for FEE. If we both operate small businesses why should I continue to support his business if he refuses to do business with me. We both have choices right?

  • Mychal Connolly

    Exactly Andrew!! My thinking was as a business owner how could he not understand the lifetime value of his customer! And a customer with a big mouth and strong following at that. Like I said in the previous comment it’s not about the money, it’s about the mindset. Why should I spend my money with a business owner who isn’t about helping other business owners succeed. Keep in mind the guy used some of the strategies I gave him to grow his business, so he knows the value I bring.

  • Mychal Connolly

    Thanks Rafferty! I agree!

  • Mychal Connolly

    Thanks Matt. I didn’t mention the business because I originally post the question on my facebook. I didn’t want to negatively affect the guys business. But lets just say it’s a service all men use at least once a month. My bill is normally $80 because I bring my 3 sons with me as well.

    And this service is readily available, not an exclusive business at all. I just chose to do business with this guy all these years.

  • Mychal Connolly

    Andrew thank you!!! You said exactly what I was feeling when I posted this question! YES!!! “mutually beneficial relationship” without “any reciprocation going on.”

  • Andrew

    I would never do that with my business, Burnin’ Rubber. Even when I have had hardly no money I have bought the books my mentors/friends have written. Now that I am trying to start my business and have been selling t-shirts I have found some of those relationships where they see that and help me and which people are not willing to help me even when I have helped them.

  • Ganesh Srinivasan

    I understand perfectly. The way I look at it is you could have had a different strategy right from the beginning. You could have said I charge $100 ( or whatever you want to say ) per hour and as your customer Give me $50 for every advice that I give. So you lost a business opportunity and a way by which this guy would respect your advice. If you had built that kind of relationship – your business would have grown. You might even had him recommend your services to his other friends and thereby earning a commission for referring you. It is true that your friend lost quite a bit but in the process of disconnecting him you also lost a potential business from him and his friends!
    - Ganesh

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  • http://hooktowin.com/ Andrew McDermott

    :)